Babylon is a film of excess but in the best way possible. Damien Chazelle reached for the stars with his take on 1920s Hollywood and, in the process, made a chaotic masterpiece that I feel in time will gain much more appreciation. I loved it the first time I watched it and then even more when I saw it on an IMAX screen, which really was something to behold. With that in mind and with being a lot more select in which films to own a physical copy of, Babylon was one I simply had to add to my collection.

The film itself still holds up viewing at home, the sheer scale of it all filling the TV screen and the score just designed to be played on the loudest speakers. What I was intrigued to check out on the home release though were the special features because, for a film like Babylon, there's so much behind the scenes goodness that can be brought the forefront.
The main attraction is a half hour long documentary, A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon, that gets off to just as chaotic a start as the film itself. It mirrors the nature of the unforgettable opening party sequence before calming down to take a much more measured approach in telling us how the film was made. It's great to hear the likes of Damien Chazelle talk about his inspirations while other cast and crew members accentuate the scale and work that went into a production like Babylon, most notably the detailed and lavish production design, and the masterful editing in sequences such as them first using sound in film. It's still my favourite scene of the film and seeing how it all came together is a real treat.

The idea of several party sequences seen throughout the film symbolising the state of the society and its characters at the respective time is a really interesting one. It certainly makes me take a step back and look at the film through a different lens. Also, the cast discussing their characters for a brief moment makes me appreciate particular scenes more than I did before, namely the scene Brad Pitt and Jean Smart share later on it the film.
Other extras on the home release include brief touches on other elements that make Babylon the extravagant masterpiece it is. The Costumes of Babylon is first up and just emphasises the hard work Mary Zophres put in as a costume designer, 7000 individual costumes in total that play an integral part in giving the film true character. Then there's Scoring Babylon, a brief overview of how Justin Hurwitz delivered a score for the ages, bombastic as the film itself and giving us a track like Voodoo Mama, which I will always be thankful for.
No special features on a home release is complete without some deleted or extended scenes. Babylon is a monster of a film so quite how many scenes were cut down or removed entirely was something I was very interested in. The six scenes that feature on the disc here make it clear to see why they were removed/shortened because they don't add much to the film or the existing scenes.

Babylon is my favourite film of the year so far and one that I will love to revisit countless times in the future. Overlooked, in my opinion, during awards season when it probably would have swept them all twenty years ago, this is a film that will stand the test of time to be spoken about in years to come.

Babylon is now available to Download & Keep on DVD, Blu-ray™ & 4K UHD.


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